Whether it’s a circular veneered table apron, a contemporary laminated chair back, or a flowing architectural column, if it’s a curve made with wood it’s most likely created using a process called bent wood lamination. One of the most common ways of pressing and clamping these laminations is to use a vacuum bag system.
In this video, the journeyman cabinetmakers at the Robert Treate Hogg Cabinetmakers give us a complete introduction to this versatile and useful technique. It’s a process they use almost daily. RT Hogg’s president, Michael Hoffmeier describes their method, which centers on the use of specialty 3/8th inch flexible plywood. This remarkable material (also known as wacky wood or bending plywood) can be easily formed into tight curves allowing the artisan almost unlimited design possibilities. First, the core is glued-up, vacuum pressed, and dried. And then the finished veneer is applied. With experience the process is efficient and highly controllable. In this video, learn about proper glue selection, flexible ply construction tips and tricks, vacuum bagging and veneering skills. — Keith (9 Minute Woodworking Video)
Robert Treate Hogg Cabinetmakers (pronounced “Hoge”) hand-make commissioned, limited production furniture, architectural cabinets and fixtures. Originally founded in 1936, Hogg specializes in high-end audio-visual lecterns and podiums for higher education. They are based in Oxford, Pennsylvania.